My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2: 1-2

The aim of this essay is to draw out the implicit forms of the argument which are normally assumed in arguments for limited satisfaction based on 1 John 2:2. My goal is to make these implicit arguments or assumptions explicit.1 As with many of the arguments for limited satisfaction, the basic form runs along the lines of a modus tollens axis.2 A premise is alleged, and then a modus tollens argument is enlisted. More formally the argument looks something like this: If Christ died for a person, that person cannot fail be saved.3 This is then simply generalized or converted into a universal statement:

If Christ died for the whole world, then the whole world will necessarily be saved4
It is not the case that the whole world is saved
Therefore, it is not the case that Christ died for the whole world

I argue that this sort of argument lies at the back of the arguments for limited satisfaction based on 1 John 2:2.

The overarching goal of this essay is to remove the alleged logical impediments enlisted to restrict or limit the meaning of “whole world” in 1 John 2:2.

Moving now to 1 John 2:2 we can see how this argument is assumed in the various moves by various limited satisfaction advocates.

I. Firstly, many modern advocates of TULIP, fall into C.H. Dodd’s trap by assuming that the Greek hilasmos can only mean propitiation. And, then, building on Dodd’s mistake, assume that propitiation means the actual removal of wrath, as opposed to simply covering sin (a standard definition of expiation) or an atoning sacrifice for sin. Prior to Dodd’s claim, the terms expiation and propitiation were seen as overlapping concepts. Dabney for example: “Christ is the propitiation (the same word as expiation) for the sins of the whole world.”5 And with respect the Hebrew and Greek equivalents, these certainly do not bear the sort of bifurcation that many since Dodd have imposed upon the Latin, expiatio and propitiatio. At most, the distinction between the two comes to something like this, by means of sacrifice, sin is covered (expiation) whereby God is made favourable (propitiation). To speak of the one is to entail the other.

II. The second significant mistake many advocates of limited satisfaction make is an invalid noun-to-verb conversion, which reads hilasmos as if it is speaking about something as having been already and actually accomplished. Something like this, hilasmos means propitiation (in the strict C. H. Dodd sense), and so it refers to “to turn aside wrath” or “to make favourable,” which is then converted into a past tense verbal form which speaks to a past tense accomplished action.

Owen does this very term conversion in his Death of Death:

From that which hath been said, the sense of the place is evident to be, that Christ hath so expiated sin, and reconciled to God, that the sinner is pardoned and received to mercy for his sake, and that the law shall never be produced or brought forth for his condemnation. Now, whether this can be tolerably applied to the whole world (taking it for all and every man in the world), let all the men in the world that are able judge. Are the sins of every one expiated? Is God reconciled to everyone? Is every sinner pardoned? Shall no one have the transgression of the law charged on him? Why, then, is not everyone saved? Doubtless, all these are true of every believer, and of no one else in the whole world. For them the apostle affirmed that Christ is a propitiation; that he might show forth whence arise, and wherein chiefly, if not only, that advocation for them, which he promises as the fountain of their consolation, did consist,–even in a presentation of the atonement made by his blood. He is also a propitiation only by faith, Rom. iii. 25; and surely none have faith but believers: and, therefore, certainly it is they only throughout the world for whom alone Christ is a propitiation.6

Turretin, says something similar:

When John says, "Christ is a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world" (1 In. 2:2), he does not wish to extend this to each and every one, but to those only who can console themselves by the intercession of Christ and the remission obtained through him (who are none other than the elect). For these only can Christ be an expiation (hilasmos) and propitiation, whose comforter (parakletos) and Advocate he is with the Father (because these two are joined together by the apostle as equal and inseparable). Yet Christ is not an Advocate for all (as those learned divines confess on John 17: 9). Again, God must be actually propitiated and reconciled to those for whom Christ made a propitiation (unless we suppose that Christ failed in his purpose and poured out his blood in vain-contrary to the apostle, who asserts that he for whom Christ died cannot be condemned (Rom. 8:34); this cannot be said of those who are excluded from the covenant and upon whom the wrath of God abides).7

Both of these authors transform the noun hilasmos into a verb denoting something that has already been accomplished. It is not that Christ is the propitiation, but that he has actually propitiated, he has actually reconciled and pardoned those for whom propitiation was made. The wrath of God has actually been turned aside whereby pardon and forgiveness have already been obtained. If we could paraphrase their reading of 1 John 2:2, it might look something like this, “Christ has propitiated God [brought about forgiveness] with regard to our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”

This new proposition then becomes the backbone of the reductio presented by way of a modus tollens argument. For example, it is argued, if “world” means all men, this would entail that all mankind’s sin has been expiated (as an accomplished action), but given that it is not the case that the sins of all mankind have been expiated, “world,” therefore, cannot denote all mankind (see below for further explanation).

Owen and Turretin, blend expiation accomplished and expiation applied (forgiveness). What the expiation accomplished was that the death of Christ satisfied the demands of the law in our behalf. Expiation applied is the application of that in time and when the sinner comes to Christ in faith and repentance.8

It is important to remember that nouns and verbs are distinct for a reason. Nouns speak to what a thing is, what it does. Verb speaks to what a thing is doing, or has done, or shall do. And unlike verbs, nouns do not have tense. It is simply incorrect, therefore, to treat a noun as if it were a verb, to somehow, rather magically, just transform it into a something it is not. And it is unwise to exegete a noun as if it was a verb.

III. Thirdly, once this subtle semantic conversion is in play and the noun-to-verb conversion has been evoked, arguments are set forth then by way of certain syllogisms. These syllogisms can be either explicitly or implicitly stated.

The core modus ponens foundation:

A)

1) If Christ has turned aside the wrath of God for a man, then that man cannot fail to be saved
2) Christ has turned aside the wrath of God for Smith
3) Therefore, Smith cannot fail to be saved

[Let “to turn aside the wrath of God for a man” equal “to die for” and all relevant cognate expressions.]

Then this is converted into a modus tollens:

B)

1) If Christ has turned aside the wrath of God for a man, then that man cannot fail to be saved
2) It is not the case that Smith was saved
3) Therefore, Christ did not turn aside the wrath of God for Smith

Then of course, this form of the argument is universalized into something like this:

C)

1) If Christ has turned aside the wrath of God for all men, then all men cannot fail to be saved
2) It is not the case that all men are saved.
3) Therefore, Christ did not turn aside the wrath of God for all men.

[Here let “all men” equal “world.”]

The syllogisms are formally valid but not sound.

Premise 1 (in all three forms of the syllogism) is the key problem as the argument only works on the noun-to-verb conversion. It is the alleged force, all of which is purely rhetorical, of this past tense accomplished action which forms the foundation of the argument and which seeks to carry it to its inexorable conclusion.

However, if hilasmos is allowed to stand as a noun, then it is talking not about an accomplished past tense action, but about function, about what it does, or how something is accomplished. For this reason some Bibles translate the Greek as “Christ is the atoning sacrifice” (NIV and NET) or some cognate form. And this is why Hans-Georg Link and Colin Brown note:

The noun hilasmos, which is derived from hilaskomia, is rare and found mainly in late writings. It denotes the action by which a deity is to be propitiated (e.g., Plutarch, Salon, 12).9

As a noun, hilasmos points us back to Christ’s sacrifice for sin, as a means for sinners to find forgiveness. The sense is that John is pointing back to the cross as a means whereby one may find propitiation for sins committed–not, as it were, to the already accomplished application of the benefits of the cross.10

This is further supported by noting that for any sentence that is comparable to the structure of 1 John 2:2, where the noun should not converted into a verb, the sense is clear. And so for example, John rightly and most naturally says, “if any man sins, we have an advocate. . . .” (1 John 2:1). Here, advocate is a noun, and the sense is, if anyone seeks pardon for his sins or her sins, there is an advocate for them. The sense is not that Christ has already advocated (past tense accomplished action) for them, but that he is their advocate. That is, if they confess their sin, he will advocate in their behalf. Christ is the ever-present ever-engaging advocate for all those come to him in confession. Thus, John is here describing Christ’s office and function as advocate, what he will accomplish with regard to the confessor. His gaze is not properly on the accomplished work of Christ on the cross, per se, even though undeniably, this is in the background of John’s thinking.

In the same fashion, then, John describes Christ as the atoning sacrifice (or propitiation, if you like) “not only for our sins but for the sins of the whole world.” John is not saying here that Christ, as a past tense accomplished action (as a verb), already and actually propitiated God (in terms of subjective affect) such that the worlds’ sins have necessarily already been “pardoned,” as Owen asserts,11 just as much as John is not saying that Christ has already, in any absolute sense, advocated for all the elect–believing and/or unbelieving–of the world.

To bring these two thoughts together, then, the advocacy of Christ in John 2:1-2, respects not so much as what was directly accomplished on the cross, but that ongoing work of advocacy in behalf of all who come to him in faith, likewise with respect to the propitiation. There is an ongoing means of propitiation–obtained by Christ’s sacrifice and satisfaction for sin–for all who come to him in faith. This is John’s point.

Robert Dabney touches on the true intent of John’s thought:

In 1 John 2:2, it is at least doubtful whether the express phrase, “whole world,” can be restrained to the world of elect as including other than Jews. For it is indisputable, that the Apostle extends the propitiation of Christ beyond those whom he speaks of as “we,” in verse first. The interpretation described obviously proceeds on the assumption that these are only Jewish believers. Can this be substantiated? Is this catholic epistle addressed only to Jews? This is more than doubtful. It would seem then, that the Apostle’s scope is to console and encourage sinning believers with the thought that since Christ made expiation for every man, there is no danger that He will not be found a propitiation for them who, having already believed, now sincerely turn to him from recent sins.12

Consequently, the above third modus tollens syllogism does not hold good as it assumes that God’s wrath has already been turned aside and placated, and that God has already been reconciled and the sinner has already pardoned. And of course, it is not possible that a pardoned person fails to be saved. The alleged truth of the first premise can only be obtained by an illegitimate noun-to-verb conversion. If the illegitimate conversion is disallowed, then likewise any conclusion derived from that invalid conversion must be judged as unsound.

However, once we understand that the efficacy of the “advocacy” is conditioned on faith and repentance, so also is the efficacy of the atoning sacrifice (or propitiation). Without repentance there can be no advocacy, and without repentance there can be no propitiation applied. And yet, Christ’s satisfaction (or expiation) has been made with regard to the sins of all men, it is objectively and conditionally available (as to its efficacy) to all if they by come to him by faith. If any man–any man of the whole world–confesses his sin, he will find in Christ an advocate, ‘for Christ is the atoning sacrifice for not only for his sins, but for the sins of the whole world.’ This being John’s logic in a nutshell.

We can quite readily further confirm and elaborate this point by way of ordinary examples. The following sentences follow the basic structure of 1 John 2:2.

John is the company driver, not only for the members of the board, but for all the company employees.

Driver as a noun.

Peter is the doctor, not only for this village, but for all the villages in his area.

Doctor as a noun.

It may not yet be the case that John has necessarily “driven” all the board members and company employees, but only that he is the appointed driver for them, and will, indeed, drive them if they wish.

It may not be the case that Peter has necessarily engaged as doctor for everyone in the one village or in the surrounding villages. What is more, even if it was established that Peter had not actually engaged himself as a doctor for all those in his immediate village and all those in the surrounding villages under his care, it could not be concluded that, in fact, John is not the appointed doctor for all in his villages and for all in the villages in his district.

Or stated another way, the sentence about John cannot be converted into:

John has driven, not only the members of the board, but all the company employees.

And given that this conversion is illegitimate, any alleged conclusion derived from that move must also be deemed as illegitimate. That is a completely different premise or statement. And so any modus tollens argument based on the converted sentence, even while purporting to represent the sentiment of the original sentence, will be unsound.13

Construct any similar sentence where the noun is in play and the meaning should be evident.

IV. The fourth major mistake is the invalid argument regarding the term “world.” Some limited satisfaction polemicists fall into a basic either/or fallacy (it is either A or B). That is, either world must mean, “all who have lived (those currently in hell and those currently in heaven), all who are alive (believers and unbelievers alike), and all who shall live,” or, it must mean “all the elect to the exclusion of all others” (or some cognate idea).14

Then, either implicitly or explicitly, a short disjunctive syllogism is set forth or assumed:

Either A or B
Not A therefore B

That is, the world in 1 John 2:2 either means

A) All who have lived, live, and shall live
or
B) It means all the elect (or some like expression)

In short, the simplistic argument claims, it is not the case that if “world” in 1 John 2:2 means A), therefore it must mean B).

The controlling assumption that rules out A) is that the world of 1 John 2:2 cannot mean all who have lived, live, and shall live, as that would result in absurdity. If “world” means all who have lived, live, and shall live, then all who have lived, live, and shall live, must have been already pardoned (Owen), or they are people who cannot fail to be pardoned (Turretin) which is absurdly impossible. Yet the very foundation for this alleged absurdity (specifically the reductio) is the illegitimate noun-to-verb conversion. Unfortunately, as misinformed as they are on this fact, limited satisfaction advocates triumphantly conclude, “world” must mean the elect (or some comparable sentiment or idea).15

The problem is that “world” for John does not denote those dead in hell, those who do not even exist yet, or even those in heaven. World for John primarily denotes all those outside of the church, alive, and in opposition to God and his church, at any given point in time. The world is just that, what we call the “the world,” from which we derive words like “worldly” and “worldliness.” The world for John is a place of moral darkness, where men live in rebellion and under Satan’s rule.16 Hence he says in 1 John 5:19, the whole world lies under the power of the evil one. Obviously here John could not mean that even those in heaven lie in the power of Satan. He could not mean those in hell, as Satan’s power does not extend to hell (at least on Christian theology). It cannot mean those who do not even exist yet. It certainly cannot mean those who are true believers who are united to Christ. Rather, it means those outside of the church who are living in opposition to God and his church.

What is more, the same construction of “holos kosmos” as used in 1 John 5:19, is also used in 1 John 2:2. The only other place where it is used by John.17 And the rule is, context and usage, define meaning. By the normal rules of hermeneutics, the meaning of world in 1 John 5:19 is more than probably the same meaning of world in 1 John 2:2.

Furthermore, even if we limit a search to 1 John alone, we can discern this core definition of “world” is the controlling base definition:

1 John 2:15: Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

1 John 2:17 And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.

1 John 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

1 John 3:13 Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

1 John 4:4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

1 John 5:5 And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

The absolute definition of “world” as, ‘all who have lived, live, and shall live” can have no place in John’s first letter, indeed, in any of his writings. In the same way, the definition of “world” as meaning all the elect, or all the believers scattered through the world must be ruled out. Neither option is tolerable. Both lead to absurdities. For example, all one has to do is substitute “world” for either “all who live lived, live, and shall live” or “all the elect” and both options will be seen as immediately absurd. The only two instances of “kosmos” that may be taken as referring to location are:

1 John 4:9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

1 John 4:17 By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

The more likely meaning here is that John means to reference the “world” as used elsewhere. The sense is the sphere of the apostate mankind.18 Confirming this, 1 John 4:9 closely rehearses John 3:16-17.

This search could easily be expanded to John’s other letters, his Apocalypse and his fourth Gospel, all to the same result.

Thus, the first premise of the either/or claim is false. It is a false either/or, and so therefore a fallacy, exactly because there is viable tertium quid in play which the false either/all ignores. There is no reason to suppose that “world” must either mean “all who have lived, live, and shall live” or “all the elect” or some cognate form of that, to the exclusion of all other possibilities. Therefore, the presence of a valid tertium quid means that the either/or dilemma is a logically and exegetically illegitimate move, and, therefore, any argument (by way of explicit or implicit disjunctive syllogism) derived upon that move is unsound and theologically invalid. Any disjunctive syllogism based on a false either/or must be deemed as unsound.

Lastly, given the way John uses “world” in his writings, the claim that “world” for John denotes Gentiles cannot stand either. For John is not saying that the whole world of the Gentiles, to the exclusion of the ethnic Jews, lies under the power of the evil one.

V. Fifthly, here are some examples of Reformed authors reading the force of hilasmos as a noun:

Robert L. Dabney:

But there are others of these passages, to which I think, the candid mind will admit, this sort of explanation is inapplicable. In John 3:16, make "the world" which Christ loved, to mean "the elect world," and we reach the absurdity that some of the elect may not believe, and perish. In 2 Cor. 5:15, if we make the all for whom Christ died, mean only the all who live unto Him—i. e., the elect it would seem to be implied that of those elect for whom Christ died, only a part will live to Christ. In 1 John 2:2, it is at least doubtful whether the express phrase, "whole world," can be restrained to the world of elect as including other than Jews. For it is indisputable, that the Apostle extends the propitiation of Christ beyond those whom he speaks of as "we," in verse first. The interpretation described obviously proceeds on the assumption that these are only Jewish believers. Can this be substantiated? Is this catholic epistle addressed only to Jews? This is more than doubtful. It would seem then, that the Apostle’s scope is to console and encourage sinning believers with the thought that since Christ made expiation for every man, there is no danger that He will not be found a propitiation for them who, having already believed, now sincerely turn to him from recent sins.19

Charles Hodge:

This is what is meant when it is said, or implied in Scripture, that Christ gave Himself as a propitiation, not for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole world. He was a propitiation effectually for the sins of his people, and sufficiently for the sins of the whole world. Augustinians have no need to wrest the Scriptures. They are under no necessity of departing from their fundamental principle that it is the duty of the theologian to subordinate his theories to the Bible, and teach not what seems to him to be true or reasonable, but simply what the Bible teaches.20

Martin Luther:

But also for the sins of the whole world.

It is certain that you are a part of the world. Do not let your heart deceive you by saying: “The Lord died for Peter and Paul; He rendered satisfaction for them, not for me.” Therefore let everyone who has sin be summoned here, for He was made the expiation for the sins of the whole world and bore the sins of the whole world. For all the godless have been put together and called, but they refuse to accept. Hence it is stated in Is. 49:4: “I have labored in vain.” Christ is so merciful and kind that if it were possible, He would weep for every sinner who is troubled. Of all men He is the mildest, of all the gentlest. With every member He feels more pity than Peter felt under the rod and the blows. Take any man who is extraordinarily kind and gentle. Then you would know that Christ is much kinder to you. For just as He was on earth, so He is in heaven. Thus Christ has been appointed as the Bishop and Savior of our souls (cf. 1 Peter 2:25). But at His own time He will come as Judge. Since we see this, let us give no occasion to gratify lust.21

Wolfgang Musculus:

If we consider of them which do purchase the forgiveness of their sins by the grace of God, there is but a small number of them, even as it is of the elect in respect of the reprobate, whose sins be withhold for evermore. But we seek not here to whom this grace of forgiveness does befall, but rather to whom it is to be taught and set forth. We can not here appoint upon any certain persons, to whom only this forgiveness of sins is to be preached. All men be generally called unto it, both Jews and Greeks, learned and unlearned, wise and foolish, rich and poor, old and young, men and women. For like as God enclosed all under unbelief that he might have mercy upon all, so he will have this grace of his mercy to be set forth to all men: “So God loved the world,” (says our Saviour), “that he gave his only begotten son, that everyone which believes in him should not perish, but have life everlasting.” And in the first epistle of John, we read this: “But in case any man do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just, and he is the propitiation not for our sins, and for our sins only, but for the sins also of the whole world. I think that there is meant by the world, all mankind, by which the world does consist, from the beginning of it, until the end. Therefore when it is said, that God gave his son for the world, and that he is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world what else is meant, but that the grace of forgiveness of sins is appointed unto all men, so that the Gospel thereof is to be preached unto all creatures? In this respect the gentle love of GOD towards man is set forth unto us to be considered, whereby he would not have any to perish, but all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. But for all that, this general grace has some conditions going withal, of which we will speak hereafter.22

VI. To conclude, the aim of this essay has been to remove the primary logical arguments and impediments posited by many limited satisfaction advocates in their attempt to claim that it cannot be the case that Christ made a satisfaction for the sins of all men, that the Christ’s expiation or death does not extend to all. Once those false logical impediments are removed, this can now make room for a interpretation of John’s use of “world” which is more exegetically focused. And of course, once one accepts that the “world” of 1 John 2:2 comprehends apostate mankind, living in rebellion and opposition to God and his church, then the strictures of limited satisfaction are refuted. The expiation regards the sins of all men (believers and “the world”) then the satisfaction can only be universal in nature (though not in application). Once one truly understands the import of John’s “world” in his first letter, the wheels of the limited satisfaction wagon well and truly fall off. For there is no credible way to admit, on the one hand, that the expiation regards all the sins of believers and “the whole world,” and yet not all the sins of the whole world, at the same time.

_______________________

1In a few cases, these arguments are set out more formally, mostly in classical literature. In most cases they are set out informally, with assumed premises.

2Of course, the modus tollens is, itself, grounded on an alleged modus ponens argument.

3By “died for” thoughout this essay, I mean, “to bear and to be punished for the sins others,” or, “to suffer for the sins of,” and “to lay down a vicarious satisfaction for.”

4That is, the world cannot fail to be saved.

5R.L. Dabney The Five Points of Calvinism (Richmond, VA: Presbyterian Committee of Publications, 1895), 61.

6John Owen, Death of Death (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1967), 222-223. The claim that God must be actually propitiated and reconciled to those for whose sins a propitiation was made is problematic. We must ask ourselves, were the living elect born into this world justified and reconciled to God? We should not blur the lines between satisfaction objectively accomplished whereby God, being made favourable towards men, for his part, and our subjectively and actually being reconciled to God for our part. For Owen, especially, an over-actualized soteriology is at work within his understanding of the ordo salutis. What is more, Owen’s implicit inversion of the ordo salutis actually opens the doors to antinomianism and to the doctrine of eternal or pre-faith justification.

7Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P&R, 1994), 2: 474.

8Hebrews 7:25, “Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

9Colin Brown (ed), The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Carlisle, Cumbria: 1986) 3:149.

10Nor is John collapsing what Christ objectively accomplished with regard to God and what is accomplished with regard to us at the time of justification.

11We do not need to define “world” at this point.

12Robert L. Dabney, Lectures in Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI.: Zondervan, 1972), 525.

13Imagine someone attempting to prove that John is not the company driver on the grounds that he has not driven everyone in the company. The argument would mirror the same faulty steps limited satisfaction advocates commit. The base premise would be:

John is the company driver, not only for the members of the board, but for all the company employees.

This would be converted into something like this:

John has driven all the members of the board and all the employees
It is not the case that Mary has been driven by John
Therefore Mary is neither a board member or a company employee

If the only data we had was the original proposition, no one should imagine that the syllogism constructed from the morphed sentence could be determine whether or not Mary was a board member or employee.

14For those strategies which attempt the enlist the well-known and well-abused “all men with exception,” versus “all men without distinction” see my short piece here: http://calvinandcalvinism.com/?p=12502

15Despite the fact that this should be readily seen as a flawed move, especially given the current exegetical developments in biblical theology, it is pretty much a standard move in so much of popular TULIP print literature and online discussion.

16For more on this, see D.A. Carson’s comments here, http://calvinandcalvinism.com/?p=1231.

17In the Synoptic forms where “whole world” appears, the sense is inclusive of all things or people in the world The rich man gains the whole world, (Matt., 16:26, Mark 8:36, and Luke 9:25). Here exaggeration and hyperbole is in play. The gospel is to be preached in the whole world, where the sense is none are to be excluded (Matt 26:13 and Mark 14:9). When Paul speaks of the faith of the Romans being proclaimed throughout the whole world, the sense still remains inclusive by way of exaggeration for effect. For John, the only occurrences of “whole world” are found in 1 John 2:2 and 1 John 5:19. And as is normal for John, there is no hint of hyperbole or generalization for effect.

18See for examples, John 9:5, John 13:1, and John 15:19, to note a few.

19Dabney, Lectures, 525.

20Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI.: Eerdmans, 1981), 2:558-9.

21Martin Luther, “The Catholic Epistles,” in Luther’s Works, 30:236-237.

22Wolfgangus Musculus, Common Places of Christian Religion, trans., by Iohn Merton (London: Imprinted by Henry Bynneman, 1578), 577-8.

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